Hopeful of striking a deal, Mikey Garcia offers high praise for 'living legend' Pacquiao

Published May 14, 2021, 4:09 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Mikey Garcia and Manny Pacquiao (AFP)

Mikey Garcia has been engaging in a tug of war as far as closing a deal to fight Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao is concerned.

Though Garcia, 33, expressed that he is ready to move on from Pacquiao and search for another opponent instead, the American challenger couldn’t hide the fact that it would be a huge feat for him when he face the only eight-division world boxing champion.

“Milestone fight in my career for my legacy to step inside the ring with a living legend like Manny,” Garcia told World Boxing News. “He’s not going to be here much longer, and if I can catch that, it would be terrific. It would be wonderful to share that ring with a legend.

“You can make the argument he’s the most accomplished boxer ever. So, that would be amazing. I would love that, and that’s why we’ve been trying to get that.”

READ: Garcia still hoping to secure blockbuster fight vs Pacquiao

Up to this point, however, nothing has been cast in stone yet for the Garcia-Pacquiao bout since reports started surfacing early this year.

Garcia, who holds a 40-1 record on top of 30 knockouts, said the month of June is probably out of the picture because “we’re not there yet” mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both Garcia and Pacquiao are eyeing boxing comebacks this summer, particularly this May.

Arnold Vegafria, Pacquiao’s business manager, earlier hinted that the fighting senator is likely to lock horns with Garcia, a four-division world champion, in Dubai later this year.

“We need time to promote and to work and train. We’ve had all these ideas and conversations and just haven’t been able to lock it in,” added Garcia, who recently spoke to Audie Attar of Paradigm Sports Management, Pacquiao’s handler.

“We talked about it with Audie, and he said they might be able to find a way to get [the fight] here in the States,” Garcia said. “But I’m not getting my hopes up anymore. What I’m trying to do now is to start looking for another option, another fight, but if it lands on my desk, I will take that.”

READ: Arum: Pacquiao-Crawford bout not happening due to money woes

Garcia scored a unanimous decision win over Pacquiao’s former foe in Jessie Vargas last February while the Filipino boxing icon has not fought since beating Keith Thurman in July 2019.

The 42-year-old Pacquiao, who owns a 62-7-2 record with 39 KOs, got stripped of his WBA super welterweight belt and was declared “champion in recess” due to inactivity in late January.